Homeland Security contractor hacked, govt employee data likely stolen


One of the Department of Homeland Security’s key contractors says a “state-sponsored” cyber assault is answerable for stealing the non-public data of quite a few authorities workers.

In the wake of the assault, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has put its work with the contractor on maintain whereas the FBI investigates the scenario.

According to the Washington Post, the corporate in query known as USIS, and is answerable for performing background checks on potential DHS workers, in addition to those that want to amass the required safety clearances. Notably, it performed background checks for former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, in addition to Aaron Alexis, the person answerable for the 2013 Navy Yard capturing in Washington DC.

So far, it’s unknown precisely how a lot data was stolen or how many individuals have been affected, however officers advised the newspaper that they don’t assume anybody exterior of DHS had their information taken. At least one different division isn’t taking any possibilities, although. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has additionally stopped working with USIS in the intervening time.

“Our forensic analysis has concluded that some DHS personnel may have been affected, and DHS has notified its entire workforce” of the incident, Homeland Security spokesman Peter Boogaard mentioned to the Post. “We are committed to ensuring our employees’ privacy and are taking steps to protect it.”

For its half, the corporate mentioned it notified all of the businesses it really works with of the safety breach as quickly because it was found, and it’s cooperating with OPM and DHS to deal with the scenario.

Although USIS mentioned the hack “has all the markings of a state-sponsored attack,” it didn’t supply any particulars on the place the breach originated. Some officers advised the Post that it was not linked to the same incident that occurred in March, which was finally linked to China. In that case, the OPM’s databases have been focused, however no private data was stolen due to encryption. US officers have blamed a number of assaults on Beijing prior to now.

House of Representatives Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) mentioned he would ask the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to launch an investigation into the incident, whereas Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) referred to as it “very troubling news.”

“Americans’ personal information should always be secure, particularly when our national security is involved. An incident like this is simply unacceptable,” he added.

News of the safety breach comes simply sooner or later after Wisconsin-based Hold Security introduced that 1.2 billion usernames and passwords have been stolen by against the law ring working out of Russia. The haul, which additionally included greater than 500 million e mail addresses, was taken from roughly 42,000 totally different web sites throughout the web, marking the biggest safety breach the corporate had ever seen.

“Hackers did not just target US companies, they targeted any website they could get, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to very small websites,” Hold Security founder Alex Holden advised The New York Times. “And most of these sites are still vulnerable.”